Julie Delpy's comedy about a French girl and her American boyfriend wandering about Pairs is the most unembarrassed Woody Allen imitation since Kenneth Branagh's In The Bleak Midwinter, over which it perhaps just has the advantage of not assuming we won't realise. There's also a dash of the rambling-around-with-a-guy-and-talking movies she made for Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise and Before Sunset), and of Sofia Coppola.
I went predisposed to like it because I like her (the Trois Couleurs came out when I was at University, so she - and Binoche and Jacob - were kind of my generation's Beatrice Dalle) and because it looked quirky and had good reviews. It was round about this time that I learned never to trust reviews of quirky indie movies, or rather to trust them rigidly, but in the certainty that if the reviewer thinks they're just terrific then I'm going to hate them. (In fact it was this and Broken Flowers that convinced me.)
So, for the last time, I was led blindly by the geezer in The Times who said he was dreading it but ended up bowled over by its wit, insight, sophistication and what-have-you, and by the quote on the poster from some broad about making sure you wear waterproof makeup because she laughed until she cried. Oh please...
An early dinner table scene promises well, but the rest is complacent and witless: hateful characters, brazen toadying to the European anti-American consensus, and not even a well-conveyed sense of Paris. Adam Goldberg's character, in particular, is obnoxious beyond all endurance, and the film panders relentlessly to fashionable metropolitan certainties and pieties. I feared at the time that it was set for cult status, but I don't see anybody referencing it these days, which is something at least.
Two Days in New York, a 2011 follow-up, omitted Goldberg and added Chris Rock and Vincent Gallo as himself: hard to imagine what it might be like, and few people seem to have even heard of it.